Constable to lead police department, elected office at the same time
Jesse Flores, Denton County’s Precinct 1 constable, will soon report to Krum as the new police chief.
Flores said he can and will head up both the Krum Police Department and the constable office until his constable term expires at year’s end.
“I like the fact it is a small town with a great history, great family values in their city. The police department is excellent — very small, very young — with a lot of potential with growth,” Flores said.
He said he saw the position advertised and applied for it. His first round of interviews took place with the Krum city secretary, the assistant chief from the Addison Police Department and the Celina police chief. The second round consisted of the mayor and City Council members.
“I’m pleased to say I was very successful and they offered me a job,” Flores said.
Flores acknowledged the rumors going around about him and the job, particularly one voiced on social media by former Denton County Sheriff Benny Parkey. Parkey alleged that current Sheriff William Travis played a role in getting Flores the job in Krum.
Flores and Travis were tied together in a Texas Rangers investigation of accusations that Travis offered Flores a job if he dropped out of the 2012 Republican primary election. Flores didn’t drop out but finished third behind Travis and Parkey. Travis won the run-off and replaced Parkey as sheriff.
A Denton County grand jury, meeting in April, declined to indict Travis in connection with the bribery allegation.
Flores said Wednesday that Travis played no role in helping him get hired in Krum and that he had no official contact with the sheriff during the hiring process.
Sandi Brackeen, a spokeswoman for Travis, said the sheriff would have no comment on Flores and said any questions about his hiring should be directed to Krum city officials.
Krum Mayor Terri Wilson could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Johnny Hammons, a former deputy constable, defeated Flores in the 2014 Republican primary election for constable in Precinct 1. With no Democrat on the ballot in November, Hammons will replace Flores in the constable’s office at year’s end. Until then, Flores said he can maintain both offices.
“When I am on city time, I will be doing the chief’s duties, and on the other time the [constable] office will still be running,” Flores said.
Pat Taylor, chief deputy constable in Precinct 1, and other staff will maintain services at 100 percent, Flores said.
“There are no splitting hairs,” he said. “It has been done in the past with other constables. I’m not doing anything out of the norm.”
Flores said Mike Ballard was employed with the Dallas Fire Department at the same time he was a Denton County constable, and Ken Jannereth was employed with American Airlines at the same time as his constable service.
County Commissioner Hugh Coleman, whose precinct includes Flores’ constable district, said he hopes Flores would make the job with the county his priority while a constable.
“I’m not sure if this would be a violation of the doctrine of incompatibility. If it is, I am sure the DA’s office will let us know. I wish Jesse the best in his future endeavors,” Coleman said.
John Feldt, an assistant district attorney, said he learned about Flores’ job in Krum late Wednesday and has to research the state law to see if any county action needs to take place.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.